Sojourner’s Truth Staff
On the eve of the election, mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner, former mayor of Toledo, once again took Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz to task for his administration’s record on violence, particularly the rate of homicides, which is on track to set another record in this 2021 calendar year – currently at 56 for the year.
“There were at least three more shootings this weekend,” said Finkbeiner at a press conference he held at his campaign headquarters in south Toledo, at the corner of Glendale and Byrne.
“Two here in south Toledo not far from where we are today and one in the 3300 block of Lagrange.”
Finkbeiner recalled the opening year of his third term when murders skyrocketed to 35 and his response to that wave of violence.
“I remember being amazed and shocked to hear of three murders in a month,” he said.
At that time, he said pointing to his current 10-point plan to stop the surge in violence, he brought in the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to collaborate with the Toledo Police Department.
The result, he noted, was immediate. “We went 89 days without a murder when we collaborated. The city finished the year with 13 homicides.
“When I left office I wasn’t pleased with the 33 homicides [in his last year of 2009}. But right now it’s at 56 and over 2,000 bullets have been discharged into about 750 living units this year. The culture has dramatically changed.”
Finkbeiner specifically pointed to the failure of the current mayor (Kapszukiewicz), the safety director (Karen Poore) and the chief of police (George Kral) whom he faulted for a failure to devise a plan to “deal with the situation.”
“Citizens are reluctant to open their doors, we need a city where it is okay to open your front door. It’s got to stop. We have a plan. We will get back to be able to enjoy life and not hiding behind our front doors.”
Finkbeiner reviewed his 10-point plan, emphasizing the need for such measures and the success he has experienced in the past with: collaboration with other law enforcement forces, rebuilding the Block Watch program, gun buybacks, creating jobs for youth, drop boxes for information.
“We need to deal with lawbreakers directly and respectfully and put youth to work,” he said.